"Return of the Jedi" turns 40 this year, believe it or not, marking the last of the original trilogy to officially enter into the mid-life crisis age. Instead of buying a sports car, getting a single ear piercing, or hyper-fixating on working out, "Return of the Jedi" is instead celebrating this milestone with ... wait for it ... a ton of toys! As revealed during the Hasbro Pulse livestream, these toys range from the highly collectible Black Series figures to wearable prop replica helmets to Funko Pops.

During this livestream, we got our first look at the toys that will be available through normal retail as well as a spiffy Darth Vader that will only be available as a convention exclusive. Not all the "Star Wars" toys talked about were inspired by the 40th Anniversary of "Return of the Jedi" (it's also the 20th Anniversary of "The Clone Wars" which gets some cool toys this year as well), but it's quite clear that Hasbro intends to milk this anniversary for all it is worth.

Exclusive to Star Wars Celebration 2023

Let's start by looking at this very cool convention-exclusive Black Series Darth Vader. Available only to attendees of Star Wars Celebration 2023 (taking place April 7-10 in London) is this "Revenge of the Jedi" Darth Vader packaging. The toy itself is very cool, colored to have Vader's armor reflecting the red tint of his lightsaber and the "Revenge of the Jedi" packaging is super sharp, especially for old-school fans who remember the "Revenge of the Jedi" title kerfuffle.

Hardcore fans will remember that "Revenge of the Jedi" was the original title of what would become "Return of the Jedi." George Lucas had second thoughts about the title very late in the game, determining that revenge would absolutely not be a Jedi trait. That decision was made so late in the game that there were even movie posters (and even a teaser trailer!) released with "Revenge of the Jedi" as the title and that poster art is what is featured on this product.

Dismembering Vader

Vader gets another sweet "Return of the Jedi" figure that features two looks you rarely get from toys of this epic villain. You can keep him complete if you wish, full helmet and both hands, or you can recreate moments from the very end of his life, such as the option of removing the hand that Luke chops off or even his helmet for the full face reveal where Anakin gets to look upon his son with his own eyes.

I particularly like the spiky mechanical head you glimpse after Luke removes the top of the helmet, but before he pulls away the face. There's something about the inner workings of Vader's suit that has always intrigued me. Vader's look without the top of his helmet always looked very insectile to me and it only occurs to me now looking at the images of the toy that it's rarely been portrayed in action figure form. There are a million Darth Vader toys and this is one of the only ones I can think of that take advantage of that really cool look.

It's also worth noting that while the image on the toy is definitely actor Sebastian Shaw, who played the face of Vader in "Jedi," the sculpt on the figure itself looks like a combo of Shaw and Hayden Christensen's Anakin.

Wearable nerdery

The Hasbro "Star Wars" Black Series line has a long history of including prop replica quality helmets and thanks to the big birthday they're celebrating we finally get one of the coolest Trooper helmet designs from the whole series. The Biker Scout helmet was always a favorite look of mine, going back to little kid me. It was so new and different. Up to this point, we hadn't really seen any variation of the Stormtroopers' look since "A New Hope" and then we find these fools on Endor with their streamlined face and cool eye-shielding brow design. 

Yes, these helmets are wearable, yes, it's geeky as hell, and, yes, I want one.

Can't forget Funko

Funko is in on the 40th Anniversary of "Return of the Jedi" as well. I mean, of course they are. They're Funko and are looking for any excuse to pump out a dozen new Pops that will prominently be featured in a few hundred nerdy YouTuber's background shelves. Looks like Jedi Luke, de-helmeted Darth Vader, Forest Leia, Wicket, C-3PO in his floating chair, and Leia in disguise as the dreaded bounty hunter Boushh are all on offer from Funko as well as the below Target exclusive "nesting bobbleheads" of Luke and Chewy on the skiff.

All that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to "Star Wars" toys this year. There's going to be Luke training Grogu from "The Mandalorian" as well as Starkiller from "The Force Unleashed" games and a ton of "Clone Wars" toys on shelves in 2023. Toyark has a great rundown of all the stuff revealed today, so if you need to start budgeting ahead, that's a great place to start.

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